Investment needed to prepare Chelsea Edghill for Olympics
By Akeem Greene
Chelsea Edghill has become the first Guyanese Table Tennis player ever to make the cut for the Olympic Games; she will head to this year’s Games in Tokyo on a ‘wild card’ selection.
Edghill, who is Guyana’s highest-ranked female player, related to the News Room Sport that she is ecstatic about being selected to attend the prestigious Games.
She further indicated it will require serious investment for her to be at her best at the July-August global showpiece.
“I spoke to Mr. [Godfrey] Munroe [President of the Guyana Table Tennis Association] after I got the news and we decided that we need to sit and plan and it will be done as quickly as possible,” she explained.
According to Edghill, while she can simulate the high-performance training in Guyana temporarily, the ideal preparation would be attending training camps in Europe or Asia, or preferably back in Portugal where was based for the past two years, playing professionally.
On Saturday (May 22), Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) President, K.A. Juman-Yassin, said that the Olympic body has spoken to Munroe, who is also a GOA Vice-President, to formulate a plan on how Edghill will prepare for the Games and he hopes that by Monday (May 24), that document can be submitted to the GOA.
Yassin also indicated they have asked for a similar proposal to be done for table tennis player Miguel Wong, who has qualified for the Junior Pan American Games to be held in Cali, Colombia, between November 25 and December 5, 2021.
Making an impact
GOA Treasurer Garfield Wiltshire explained that the 23-year-old Edghill was granted a spot at the Games through the tripartite system, which only has two spots worldwide for table tennis, one male and female.
Wiltshire called it an “incredible feat” for her to be selected on such circumstances.
As such, Edghill says she wants not to simply attend the Games, but compete and leave a lasting impact.
“For me, it is a sense of pride to go and compete. Anywhere I go, I want to leave a mark that Guyana was here and that Chelsea was here, and for me, that is my mindset going to these training camps where I will be competing and not just attending the Games.”
She recently revealed how she navigated representing the nation, mainly on the back of the financial support of her parents, and they are most elated to know she will attend the Games.
According to Edghill, her parents always knew she would attend an Olympic Games, but didn’t expect it to be so soon.
The Caribbean Under-21 gold medallist recently participated in the Olympic Qualifiers in Argentina.
She did not make the cut to the Tokyo Games via that route, but produced telling performances that had some pundits wondering if only there was more preparation and exposure, she could have gone the full distance.